Fill Up Your Health Bar: Stand-up Gaming
I’m not exactly a cast member of “Magic Mike,” but I like to think I’m in pretty decent shape for a person who spends 8 to 10 hours sitting down at work and then an embarrassing amount of hours playing Starcraft 2, Madden and Call of Duty. I attribute that to a few years ago becoming more conscientious of how gaming affects my health. I’ve come to realize that there’s a lot of redeeming things about playing video games, but usually its effects on your health aren’t among them.
Recent news that sitting down for hours on end is, to put it bluntly, real bad for you, has led me to want to share some of the health tips I’ve developed playing video games over the years. So enjoy the first of my irregular series of health tip posts, Fill Up Your Health Bar, where I’ll talk about what I do to keep up my activity level while gaming. As the good Dr. Steve Brule would say, for your health!
Inspired by my desire to stretch out my legs in the middle of a marathon gaming session — as well as co-worker and fellow Locally Pwned writer Benton “Mordin Solus” Sartore and his jerry-rigged standing desk at work — I spend most of my PS3 gaming time on my feet. This not only keeps you off your duff, but it also lets you move around while you play. I enjoy it because it allows for my victory celebrations to be more animated, usually involving plenty of leg kicks and title belts.
That’s exactly what I do when I score a TD in Madden
Since standing burns 50 more calories per hour than sitting, depending on how big you are (source: livestrong.com), this will add up quickly over the course of months and years. It’s not going to turn you into a John Cena by any means, but it has helped make a difference with my health. And you’re always free to sit back down in case you get tired or your legs get sore, we’re not here to judge.
Standing up while gaming isn’t a step that’s going to fix all of a person’s health problems, but there’s really no one thing you can do to slim down. This, like all of my tips, will be just one cog in the machine toward improving your health. You’ll feel more energized after you’re done gaming if you stand up for even just a little bit of time, especially if you engage in the aforementioned victory dancing.
Any thoughts on today’s tip? If you have anything to add or critique, please post in the comments below. And if you’re a gamer out there who has a tip on how you try to stay fit while gaming, go ahead and share with the rest of us. Also, follow me on Twitter @tlangeton for observations about video games, sports, news, sports (including pro wrestling) and animals I see driving home from work. You’ll learn a lot, or at least you won’t get any more stupid!
Tim is a copy editor for the Wausau Daily Herald. His Playstation Online handle is eye_dubya_pwn, if you want to inflate your friends total. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.